Triple Threat Show with Soul Low/The Nude Party/Post Animal came through Cactus Club


Photo Credit to Mike Heinz

You might call the show at Cactus Club this past Monday night a sort of “triple threat”. Featuring acts from Chicago, North Carolina and some of Milwaukee’s own talent, the bill at the popular bar venue in Bay View was as good as any. All three acts have gained considerable followings and momentum within the past year thanks to great studio releases and ferocious live schedules, with each act occupying different niches and cultivatig unique sounds. If you found yourself in attendance on this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, you were in for a treat.

Kicking off the night was Windy City psych-rockers Post Animal. Occupying the same sonic realm as bands like Tame Impala and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, these boys indulge in being out there. The band has been pushing their sound hard in the Chicago underground for a little over a year now and with the benefit of being able to open for friends in notable Chicago bands such as The Orwells and Twin Peaks they’ve been able to attract a sizable following considering how short a time they’ve been playing. It helped that one of their guitarists happened to star in a fairly popular Netflix series last year. Monday night in Milwaukee, they brought it. Featuring lots of guitars and modified sound, Post Animal is pure, unadulterated fun. This is absolutely a band you can enjoy live without knowing any of the music beforehand. Another enjoyable thing with this band is the band dynamic. Everyone has character, everyone has a role, and everyone’s more than willing to play it. They alternate singers and leads often, keeping their sound always fresh. No classic “frontman” will be found here, but with the amount of charisma each individual brings it’s not needed.

Up next, the rockabilly beach-punk sounds of The Nude Party. Jangly guitars, bolo ties, maracas, burning incense; One song in and it was clear that these guys have a vision and they’re running with it. These guys have a swagger that is infectious. Their music grooves and moves, and they have a blast on stage. People in the crowd can’t help but feed off that energy and enjoy themselves. As a six-piece outfit they feature two guitars, drums, keys, percussion and bass. An equally integral part of their sound was the choral shoutings heard by most of the band on songs such as “Water On Mars.” The frequent shouts and chants gave an inclusive feel to the performance and the music itself. Would recommend checking these guys out live to anyone, you truly can’t help but enjoy the tunes they are making.

To finish the night, the dudes of Milwaukee’s Soul Low had the club to themselves. “It’s been awhile since we played a rock show in Milwaukee,” said lead singer/guitarist Jake Balistrieri. “We’ve been busy making a rock record.” Alluding to their as-yet-unannounced follow-up to 2016’s award winning Nosebleeds, the Soul Low guys seemed excited to be back on stage for the first time in 2017 with some new material in their arsenal. Off the bat there was a calm easiness to their performance. Despite the obvious energy they delivered to and received from the crowd, the comfort they exuded was striking; it was obvious that Cactus Club is a home court of sorts for the Cream City natives. Packing a sizable punch with their sound, the four-piece comprised of Balistrieri, Sam Gehrke on bass, Sean Hirthe on keys/sax and Charlie Celenza on drums was as good as ever. Their old songs incited plenty of sing-and-dance-alongs. The new ones showed only more good to come. Soul Low made quite a stir in the Milwaukee music scene with their last record; all signs point to them getting even more recognition in a new year still in its infancy.

Looking for bands to watch in 2017? Look no further. These three are quickly on the rise.